MSNBC’s Joy Reid says that former President Donald Trump’s Georgia arraignment is “justice,” because of course she does.

But it’s not necessarily because Trump committed the crimes he’s accused of, or committed any crime, period. Instead, once upon a time nearly a quarter of a century ago, he took out a full-page ad calling for harsh justice against those accused in a brutal rape and beating of a jogger in Central Park.

Now, in case you’ve been actively hiding from the news cycle at an unnelectrified retreat somewhere deep in the jungles of the Seychelles — and I hardly blame you, given that our modern clown world has somehow turned itself exponentially more punchinello-esque these past few weeks — the former president turned himself in at the Fulton County jail in Atlanta on Thursday, leading to CNN and MSNBC practically replacing all programming with a static picture of his mug shot and the sounds of staff hooting, hollering and popping champagne corks in the background.

I kid only slightly: While I could find no figure for the exact number of times these networks showed Trump’s mug shot, the Media Resource Center calculated that between 6 p.m. on Wednesday and 6 p.m. on Thursday, the two showed the mug shots of Trump’s co-defendants — including former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani and Trump administration chief of staff Mark Meadows — a grand total of 188 times.

Just in case you missed the first 187, of course.

Now, of course, this is “justice” for the left, because Donald Trump and those around him have been guilty of a crime since the moment he was elected president back in 2016. What crime? Find one. And lo and behold, several prosecutors have.

But for Joy Reid — who can reliably come in with the worst MSNBC take on practically anything, which says something, given the network — this isn’t justice for questioning the results of the election or “Russian collusion” or the Capitol incursion of Jan. 6. 2021, or anything like that. Instead, this was for the Central Park Five.

“You know, when I moved back to New York, um, one of the mugshots that sit with me — I mean, I still remember that he [Trump] made five teenagers my age take a mug shot,” Reid said. “That he wanted them to not just take a mug shot, he wanted them dead.

“This was the Central Park Five case — the exonerated five, you know — and they were my age, so as a teenager living in New York, I’ve said it before this, because I’ve never watched ‘The Apprentice,’” she continued.

“I despised Donald Trump because he, to me, signified the rich, white guy in Manhattan that absolutely hated and despised me and that hated and despised my cousins, my friends, everyone,” she continued.

“And so, to me, this is justice,” she continued. “The fact that Manhattan didn’t give him a mug shot, I thought was offensive … I think Fani Willis is a national hero, because she, more than any other prosecutor in this country … she’s the only one who said these wealthy, powerful, privileged men and women are just American citizens and when they break the law, they will take that picture.”

Yeah, so in the world of Joy Reid, it’s Trump, the rich, evil white guy she claims hates her and every one of her relatives because of his thoughts in the Central Park Five case and has clearly broken the law even though he hasn’t been convicted — who’s the racist here. Not Reid. Nosiree.

Perhaps some of you have forgotten the pre-Giuliani days in New York City — which weren’t exactly the best of times if you liked things like, say, safety and livability. The Central Park Five case was a notable flashpoint in that ugly period in Gotham’s history, and one in which Donald Trump played a controversial part.

In April of 1989, a woman who’d been jogging was brutally raped, beaten and left for dead, though she survived.

Five young men, who were black and Latino, were charged with the crime and eventually convicted. However, despite admissions from four of the defendants that they had played some role in assaulting the jogger, DNA evidence later proved a different man committed the crime. Supporters of Central Park Five allege the confessions were coerced from the teenagers.


As The New York Times noted in a 2019 report, in the aftermath of the crime, Trump took out full-page newspaper advertisements — including in the Times — calling for New York state to re-adopt the death penalty — although he did not, as Reid erroneously claimed, assert the death penalty should be applied to the Central Park Five.

(He also had no power to force the young men to submit to mug shots, being a real-estate developer, not a law enforcement official — and, indeed, the ad didn’t include mug shots or a mention of mug shots, making Reid’s claim doubly bizarre.)

“Mayor Koch has stated that hate and rancor should be removed from our hearts,” Trump wrote in the May 1989 ad, titled “Bring back the death penalty and bring back our police!”

“I do not think so. I want to hate these muggers and murderers …

“Yes, Mayor Koch, I want to hate these murderers and I always will. I am not looking to psychoanalyze or understand them, I am looking to punish them.”

It’s worth noting that the Central Park Five didn’t involve murder, although Trump’s ad referred generally to the crime to make points about law and order in an increasingly lawless New York City.

Trump has never apologized for taking out the ads: “You have people on both sides of that,” he told reporters at the White House in June of 2019, after the issue resurfaced due to a Netflix documentary on the case which (you will not be surprised to learn) cherry-picked its facts in favor of the Central Park Five.

“They admitted their guilt,” Trump said. “If you look at Linda Fairstein and if you look at some of the prosecutors, they think that the city never should have settled that case — so we’ll leave it at that,” he added. (Fairstein was, at the time of the original trial, the head prosecutor at the Manhattan district attorney’s sex crimes unit.)

What’s clear is that we’ll never likely learn the full truth of what happened that April 1989 night — and, although evidence now strongly suggests the Central Park Five were unlikely to have played any serious role in the brutal assault, it’s also not a clear-cut case of good kids minding their own business who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

But, here’s what you might have forgotten over the past few paragraphs: What Donald Trump wrote in a paid advertisement 34 years ago, the contents of which were grotesquely misrepresented by Joy Reid, has nothing to do with his guilt or innocence or whether his mug shot was “justice.”

But that’s the beauty of Joy Reid — she says the quiet part out loud. Most liberal pundits, in cheering on the various specious legal pursuits against Donald Trump, use convoluted logic and verbal prestidigitations to disguise that what they mean by “justice” is instead “my desired outcome.”

Not Reid. She doesn’t even feign an interest in the rule of law or judicial norms. Why does she want a Trump mug shot? Why is she so sure he broke the law Because she’s angry over an opinion he had 34 years ago.

Reid is the most inflammatory, ill-prepared, verbally unfiltered, racist firebrand on cable news — and for liberals, she’s a national treasure, not in spite of it, but because of it.

After all these years, I’m still not sure whether she’s too stupid to figure out how to disguise the truth behind MSNBC’s vacuous talking points, or too perpetually irate to remember to do it. But either way, her leftist audience doesn’t mind.

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